Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency

Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency

by Gary Rivlin
Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency

Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency

by Gary Rivlin

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Overview

Harold Washington’s historic and improbable victory over the vaunted Chicago political machine shook up American politics. The election of the enigmatic yet engaging Washington led to his serving five tumultuous years as the city’s first black mayor. He fashioned an uneasy but potent multiracial coalition that today still stands as a model for political change.

In this revised edition of Fire on the Prairie, acclaimed reporter Gary Rivlin chronicles Washington’s legacy—a tale rich in character and intrigue. He reveals the cronyism of Daley’s government and Washington’s rivalry with Jesse Jackson. Rivlin also shows how Washington’s success inspired a young community organizer named Barack Obama to turn to the electoral arena as a vehicle for change. While the story of a single city, , this political biography is anything but parochial.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439904923
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 10/26/2012
Series: Urban Life, Landscape and Policy
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

About The Author

Gary Rivlin is the author of five books, including Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc. – How the Working Poor Became Big Business, and a former staff reporter for the New York Times, where his beats included Silicon Valley and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Wired, and Fortune, among other publications, and also the Chicago Reader, where he worked as a staff writer during the Harold Washington years.
 

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Revised Edition by Clarence Page vii

Introduction to the Revised Edition by Larry Bennett Forging Barack Obama: Harold Washington, Chicago, and the Politics of Race xiii

Acknowledgments xxxi

Prologue 1

Book I A Racial Thing, 1983

1 A Cry in the Wind 5

2 The Conspirators 16

3 The Chosen 26

4 The Catalyst 41

5 The Jesse Jackson Factor 52

6 The Family Business 64

7 The Liberal Apology 72

8 A Tower of Babble 82

9 A Racial Thing 94

10 Positively Antebellum 104

11 A City Divided 117

Book II Council Wars. 1983-1986

12 The Biggest Bully in the Bar 133

13 Balancing Acts 146

14 Beirut on the Lake 162

15 Black Reform, White Reform 172

16 The Chicago Experiment 188

17 A Midterm Blunder 197

18 The Continuing Saga of Clarence McClain 210

Book III Something Less Than Hate, 1986-1987

19 The Reckoning 221

20 Any White Will Do 230

21 Thy Kingdom at Hand 243

22 The Empire Strikes Back 251

Note on Sources 263

Index 267

Photographs follow page 130

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